Founded in Glasgow in 2011, RHA is a highly acclaimed manufacturer of top-quality earphones. Using the most advanced technologies, they create state-of-the-art products with exceptional sound quality, specialising in wireless bluetooth products and useful accessories.
I’ve recently been trying out their TrueConnect true wireless headphones to see how suitable they’d be for the active lifestyle of an adventure traveller. Below, I also include an overview of the perks of pairing your wireless earphones with an adapter.
PERKS FOR TRAVELLERS
The small size of these TrueConnect earphones means you can pack them in your hand luggage or day bag without using up much space. When not in use, they should be transported in their small, sturdy box, which doubles as a protective case and charging point.
There are three main reasons I use headphones while travelling: for entertainment on long journeys; to play motivational music during exercise; and to block out sounds when I’m trying to sleep in hostel dorm rooms or noisy hotels.
The design of these headphones is perfect for bus journeys. When I’m travelling on overnight routes (especially in places with higher crime rates), I keep my valuables in a small pack, which I keep on my lap. When listening to music, I need a wireless earphone to prevent me from getting tangled up and yanking the buds out. This particular ‘true wireless’ design, with two independent earbuds, means you can easily cover them up entirely with your hair, a headband or a buff, so no-one need know you even have them in.
One of the biggest problems with earphones used for exercise is trying to keep them in place. The RHA TrueConnect true wireless earbuds come with ten different pairs of ear tips (all fixed to a solid metal storage frame), meaning you can find a fit that’s perfectly snug for your ear shape. Three of these ear tips are made from Comply™ TrueGrip Plus memory foam, which expands in your ear canal to create the perfect seal. Not only do these withstand the impact of heavy footsteps on uneven ground, they also isolate noise perfectly.
What’s more, the earbuds are both sweatproof and water resistant, meaning you can keep running—come monsoon downpour or intense heat—in the knowledge that your earphones won’t be damaged.
One of the best travel hacks I’ve ever come across is to use a white noise app to drown out the sounds of deafening snores, frisky roommates, traffic, parties and calls to prayer. For this, you need low-profile, unobtrusive wireless earphones that stay in your ears and feel comfortable. RHA’s buds work perfectly if you lie on your back. Otherwise, you can pick a side to sleep on and play sound into one ear while using your pillow to obstruct noise on the other side. Unfortunately, they’re a little clunky to rest your head on, but in fairness, they weren’t designed for this purpose!
It couldn’t be easier to connect to these earbuds. Just turn them on and scroll through your device’s list of bluetooth options, selecting the one that says ‘RHA TrueConnect’ while holding down the button on your right earbud for 5 seconds.
The two most important features of a good battery are fast charging and long battery life. The RHA TrueConnect earbuds charge from empty to 50% in just 15 minutes. This is especially handy if you’re on the move a lot, staying in a hostel with limited charging points or using hotel facilities where the electric supply is cut off whenever you take your key card out. With a full charge, the battery life of the buds is 5 hours, but the rechargeable carry case provides three or four more charges without connecting to the mains, meaning you can rely on them all day long.
The sound quality of this product is really high end, with deep bass and detailed higher notes. The volume goes up pretty loud, and the bud tips block out all outside noise. This also means that someone sitting very close to you won’t be able to hear a thing, even with the volume turned up as high as it will go (which is especially handy on public transport when you want to listen to something cheesy).
DESIGN AND DURABILITY
One of the areas where these earphones really excel is in their design. You can’t help but be extremely impressed as you take them out of the packaging. The materials and construction are very satisfying, from the way they feel to the touch to the satisfying click as the charger connects.
The aluminium charging case has a smooth-sliding hinge and is so pretty I find myself wishing there was yet another case to put it in! It also has a set of obvious LED lights to show how much charge remains (a handy feature that is often annoyingly absent in many chargeable devices). There are three colour options: carbon black, cloud white and navy blue, all of which are fresh, stylish and understated, with no observable discolouration after prolonged use.
These earphones use Bluetooth version 5, which helps to reduce power usage and prolong your battery life while maintaining a strong connection. In addition, the stem design maximises the signal strength between your phone and earbuds.
With such sturdy construction, it’s doubtful you’d need it, but this product also comes with a free 3-year international warranty for peace of mind.
While music playback is arguably their main function, phone calls and connected smart functions are available at the touch of a button or spoken command, thanks to the mic and digital assistant controls. Each earbud has a button on the side, enabling you to pause or play, increase or decrease the volume or skip tracks forwards or backwards. These buttons are a little fiddly, partly because the duration of touch affects the command and also because you can nudge the earbud further into your ear with each press if you don’t hold the sides steady. For this reason, during exercise, I prefer to use the controls on my phone.
WIRELESS FLIGHT ADAPTER
With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, there has never been a more important time to practise good hygiene, and while airlines and hospitality providers are doing everything they can to ensure cleanliness and safety, the best policy is not to put yourself at risk in the first place. The RHA Wireless Flight Adapter plugs into your in-flight entertainment system and connects to your wireless earphones via bluetooth. This has the obvious advantage of allowing you to use your high-quality RHA earbuds in place of poor-fitting aeroplane headphones, but also means you don’t need to put something against your face that’s been used by multiple people before you.
With a range of 10 m, the adapter also enables you to connect to old laptops and computers, which is great for people working at home during lockdown. It also means you can block out background noise when trying to work from busy locations while travelling. As an added bonus, it works with TVs and games consoles too, and can broadcast to two sets of headphones at the same time.
The 16-h battery life means you can stay entertained for long periods of time—or indefinitely if you have it plugged into a USB-C charging point.
If you travel by car with small children, you can program this device to broadcast via only the speakers in the back seat, lessening the noise of the likes of Baby Shark and enabling you to have an adult conversation.
The RHA TrueConnect true wireless headphones currently retail at £149.95, including free delivery, but for a limited time (until 8 July 2020), you can get 50% off with the code BLIGHTY50. The Wireless Flight Adapter retails at £39.95.